All posts filed under: Travel

snow in the giardini venice

How to spend a snowy morning in Venice

I have found the best place to enjoy the snow in Venice, quite by accident. You must go to the Giardini at 10am. The path through the park will be fairly untroubled by footprints and the snowflakes falling from the trees will dance under the sun (or perhaps it will still be snowing – that’s even better). If you pass the fresh fish stall on Via Garibaldi and enter the park from there, you will soon come to a place selling flowers on trestle tables – it will look like a workshop, and you might expect to see a bare allotment nearby. But then you’ll see the glint of a greenhouse from behind a hedge – or perhaps it’s better described as an orangery. Anyway, a sign will tell you that it is the Serra dei Giardini. You will notice the potted lemon trees outside, the puckered fruit frosted with ice. And then, if you’re really lucky, you will hear music as you walk towards the entrance. If you are more cultured than I am, you’d Read More

Venice in the fog

I thought that Venice in winter would be foggier. Or rather, I’d hoped it would. When I visited the city a handful of winters ago, the fog that rose from the Lagoon in the mornings seemed as habitual as the late night high tide in Piazza San Marco. I remember watching Venetians move unflinchingly through the mist and the damp to buy their fish, or to trudge towards work, stopping in a bar for a coffee on the way. Venice, it seemed to me, was a city of water and marble and fog. So when I came here in November, I waited for the foggy mornings, except they never came – or at least never caught them. We had Acqua Alta (only the once – both a blessing and curse in a way), we had belting sunshine, mild damp, the odd storm, and of course bitter cold. Yet no proper fog. Then a couple of weeks ago, I woke up to a bedroom lit by only the finest veil of dawn. Behind the thin curtains, Read More

Venice is a peach

In January, Venice is a peach. The velvet skin of her buildings – oversaturated in the glare of summer – blushes now in this hazy light. For the most part, she is the yellow kind, her plaster blooming with red, cream, ochre, that where chipped and peeled reveals the flesh of the fruit. There are bruises too, that from afar could be mistaken for shadow. But sometimes Venice is a white peach, like in the campi at three o’clock when stark churches begin to yield to January’s haze. Their walls soften, and the pearl-like light casts shadows of pink and quietens the darkness from their door. Here it is like the fruits are ripening, and soon spring will tease the nectar from them and we will bask in those sweet Venetian afternoons once more. On days like this, wrap up warm and walk to Fondamenta dei Ormesini in Cannaregio. The best bars (Al Timon, Paradiso Perduto, Birreria Zanon) will be stirring from their January holidays by now, and in the early afternoon the light will Read More